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Memorial Hall Library

2019 National Book Award Winners

The National Book Foundation has announced the 2019 winners of the National Book Awards! Click here to learn more about the National Book Awards and see the longlists of nominees for each category.

Trust exercise : a novel
Trust exercise : a novel
by Susan Choi

National Book Award for Fiction

Falling in love while attending a competitive 1980s performing arts high school, David and Sarah rise through the ranks before the realities of their family dynamics and economic statuses trigger a spiral that impacts their adult lives.
Yellow house
Yellow house
by Sarah M. Broom

National Book Award for Nonfiction
 
Describes the author’s upbringing in a New Orleans East shotgun house as the unruly 13th child of a widowed mother, tracing a century of family history and the impact of class, race and Hurricane Katrina on her sense of identity.
Baron Wenckheim's homecoming
Baron Wenckheim's homecoming
by László Krasznahorkai

National Book Award for Translated Literature
 
Returning at the end of his life to his provincial Hungarian hometown, Baron Bela Wenckheim, leaving his many casino debts behind, longs to be reunited with his high-school sweetheart, which sets in motion a chain of events that changes the town and its inhabitants forever.
Sight lines
Sight lines
by Arthur Sze

National Book Award for Poetry
 
From the current phenomenon of drawing calligraphy with water in public parks in China to Thomas Jefferson laying out dinosaur bones on the White House floor, from the last sighting of the axolotl to a man who stops building plutonium triggers, Sight Lines moves through space and time and brings the disparate and divergent into stunning and meaningful focus. In this new work, Arthur Sze employs a wide range of voices--from lichen on a ceiling to a man behind on his rent--and his mythic imagination continually evokes how humans are endangering the planet; yet, balancing rigor with passion, he seizes the significant and luminous and transforms these moments into riveting and enduring poetry.
1919 the year that changed America
1919 the year that changed America
by Martin W Sandler

National Book Award for Young Readers
 
Some of the most important issues of our time were no less important 100 years ago. America in 1919, at the close of World War I, was shaken from the events of large-scale warfare, fearing a Communist takeover, and facing an incredible amount of social and political change. From Prohibition to women's suffrage, the labor strikes to the violence of the Red Summer and the Red Scare, this book explores each major movement of 1919. Showing how these events were interrelated and examining their continued relevance to our country a century later, Martin Sandler offers a unique historical perspective on the trajectory of the major movements of the 20th century. Showing readers how every current event has unique and fascinating history preceding it, this book will help them better understand the world they live in and the change many still seek today, offering educators a framework for discussing historical perspective and progress.